The Secret "Stay Awhile"

Let me preface this post with the fact that I'm a little bit ridiculous and can sometimes be taken with ridiculous notions.


I tend to write a lot in a single stretch. I'm not saying it is all gold -- not at all -- which means I'm a big cut-stuff-outer, too.

The most I've written in a single stretch was for a scene that will appear in "Fairwil," the book after the book I'm working on now. I woke up around 11 p.m. one night, went to my computer, wrote 7,000 words, and went to bed around dawn. Believe me, A LOT of those words have had to go, or have been changed, so I don't want this to seem like chest-puffery. It was merely the "get it down on paper" exercise.

More, in short, isn't better. So my policy is this: I write long and I write a lot but I try, in the end, to write tight. Writing tight is key, for me.

This is all to say that there's been a whole lot cut out of "Stay Awhile." In fact, I realized I could probably build an alternate book out of what I've edited out. I wrote about 15,000 words in June that I realized, with a sad heart, had to go.

I'm okay with this; I think the various paths I've wandered down with the characters have allowed me to become better acquainted with them. When I started writing "Wilfair" I knew who Monty and Fair and everyone would be, of course, but it was a bit like hearing about someone you're about to meet for the first time before you've actually met. You've got a catalog of their qualities and traits but you don't yet know how it feels to be with them.

But my thinking about the characters clicked over to feeling about the characters early on in "Wilfair," about the time Fair first walks over to the motel.


And then I felt them.

I hope you do, too. I feel them first and I think them second, when I write, which seems incredibly counter intuitive, but I actually think that's how we operate as people, in real life. We're always sensing a person's unsaid subtext and what they want and what they need before we take what they're doing or saying on the surface at face value.

And the feeling part makes it very tempting to wander off with Gomery and Prior and Sutton on side adventures and conversations that don't necessarily serve the main engine of the book's thrust and forward motion. I constantly have to watch myself on this. I have many faults, but a love of the scenic route is a big one.

This is all to say that that I have all of this extra stuff, a lot of character stuff, that I may publish on another blog down the road, when I'm taking a brief break between "Stay Awhile" and "Fairwil." I can't decide if this is sheer silliness, or if it might confuse things happening in the books, or if it would complement this blog at all. I'll think on that.

I've secured the blog name, though, in anticipation of maybe trying this, if I have time. It's a name or a phrase or wording from the books. It's up now, it doesn't have anything on it, and it is a Can you guess what word/words come before that? If you do, I'll post your name with some sparkles and stars.

Thanks, as always, for reading. And thanks for your patience with my musings!


wealhtheow said...


Wilfair Book said...

An excellent guess but nope.

Wilfair Book said...

Now I fear I've been too vague. It's something said in each book. Only one character says it and it is always directed at another character. It isn't "wait, please." (Hi, Jamila.) :)

Wilfair Book said...

Oh wait. That is TOTALLY wrong. I think a second person says it in "Redwoodian." Want a better hint?

wealhtheow said...

HA found it.

Secret note: Sometimes I just say "Summary, Gomery?" to myself under my breath.

Wilfair Book said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I'm going to have to think of some other stuff for you, wealhtheow. You are SHARP.

Now what will I do with it..? It may be dormant for a bit but I know when I have some downtime some stuff might suddenly show up on it. Maybe even prequel scenes? I don't know!!! Possibilities!

Wilfair Book said...

Oh, and your name in sparkles or similar is forthcoming. Stay tuned.

PS "Summary, Gomery" said under the breath makes my head tingle.

Chiara said...

Congrats to wealhtheow for figuring it out! I was still thinking :D

I like your way of writing. I don't write fiction but when writing articles or working on my PhD, I tend to do the same thing... Just write, let the words come out and then edit the whole thing later and cut stuff out.

I'm looking forward to the new blog and reading things left out of the books. It's like buying the DVD of a TV show or a movie and having deleted scenes on there. And I can completely see how your method makes you become better acquainted with your characters!

Jamila said...

I would LOVE to read that kind of stuff. Just random "get to know the characters and hang out with them" kind of stuff. Great idea!

Carly said...

I would totally enjoy any random, extra bits you have to share. I have a tendency to get really attached to side characters, plus I'm a total junkie when it's a book/character I love. I always want to the story to be longer - I always want more. Pacing, plot you say? Forget them, say I! So I'm in total support of the scenic route!

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